Celtic Should Dump Dedryck Boyata This Summer!

I don’t mind agents trying to do their best by their client, especially if that player only has twelve months left on their current deal.

But Dedryck Boyata’s agent hasn’t really done that this summer, in my opinion.

The Belgian defender had a very decent World Cup and has had plenty of interest in him on that back of those good performances. His agent claims that Celtic have failed to live up to certain ‘promises’ and that the Scottish Premiership champions have also rejected, or sat on, various bids for the defender.

He followed it up by saying:

“It’s strange, because on the other hand, the club apparently does not have the money to make Dedryck a dignified new contract proposal.”

Now what Boyata’s agent, Mr Jacques Lichtenstein, fails to mention is that Celtic are perfectly within their right to hold onto the player for another year. In fact, the Glasgow club could be extremely petty and let the twenty-seven year old rot in the reserves for a season, thus making Jacques job in flogging his player harder next summer.

The agent should’ve played the whole thing differently and made things clear from the start.

After the World Cup, he could have wheeled Boyata out to do an interview with the Belgian press saying that he’s loved his time at Celtic but he feels the time is right for a new challenge and that he’s not interested in signing a new deal.

Going public after the English Premier League transfer window shuts is just bizarre because it restricts your clients chances of earning big bucks in the filthy rich English top flight.

It actually makes people wonder if Mr Lichtenstein is coming out now in a desperate bid to flush out potential buyers, who may or may not be interested.

For Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, it’s a headache he doesn’t need and he’ll now ask himself if he can trust the player.

The Hoops could’ve done with the centre-back against Hearts last weekend and they could certainly be doing with him tonight as they face AEK Athens, away in Greece, in a make or break Champions League second leg qualifying tie.

Boyata has declared himself unfit and not able to play, due to a hamstring problem. Now the problem with that is that a significant amount of Celtic supporters won’t believe him after his agent’s recent outburst to the media.

Some of the fanbase could see it as the player throwing his toys out of the pram.

Although the twenty-seven year old has come out to state that is definitely not fit:

“Unfortunately, I could not play because I’m not yet 100% operational,”

With only twelve months on his contract, Celtic would be better off just selling the central defender if they get a reasonable offer in for his services. I’d also demand that Boyata hand in a transfer request and forfeit any loyalty clause that he may be due.

If Celtic get around £7m-£8m for Dedryck, then they could easily find an adequate replacement and one that will at least want to play for the club.

In truth, Boyata hasn’t been the most reliable of players during his time at Celtic Park. The Belgian international has suffered from various injuries during his time in Scotland and missed around 56 games for The Hoops due to injury issues. Then it always takes Dedryck time to get back to full fitness and when he’s back in the starting eleven he’ll go through a few games that are erratic to say the least.

Make a profit from the former Manchester City man and bring in a committed centre-half, that would be my advice.

Where To Find to Find Today’s Football Betting Tips

Sometimes betting on football can be a frustrating business, so we have looked around the internet for some help and found ourselves some football betting tips for free.

The optimum day to place bets amongst football fans is a Saturday because that is when the most football fixtures take place, however there is the chance to win bets on any day of the week with the amount of football taking place around the world.

There is nothing stopping you picking your own footy bets, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to study the form, and that is where we need to get some help looking for today’s football betting tips. The guys that Thatsagoal.com update their website every day with bets and it takes the hassle out of researching the days fixtures to place our bets.

Land the odds with a football bet tip of the day

People want to win money when betting, it’s as simple as that. Whether you pick one team to win to try and double your money, or you go for an accumulator to try and turn a few quid into hundreds, it’s all the same idea – you need to win the bet.

The Premier League is the biggest league in the world and also one of the most popular to bet on. Bet on the EPL of a weekend and the midweek Champions League matches and you’ve got the perfect chances to snap up free football betting tips of the day. Weekend betting will always be the most popular, but a Tuesday night is regularly full of fixtures and there are endless opportunities to try and land the odds.

Should I pay for football betting tips?

There is no need to pay for tips, especially if you are a football fan anyway. When you’re picking bets, you are doing exactly what the tipsters are doing – looking at the matches and selecting which teams you think will win. We wouldn’t recommend paying for tips, instead just use one of the free football betting tips of the day websites such as Thatsagoal. All of their content is free and it means you can pick and choose which bets you place and which you leave alone.

Each day there are a variety of different bets available from them including accumulator and both teams to score bets, plus match previews of every major footy fixture. You will be spoilt for choice, and it’s all free. The content on their site is probably better than most paid websites you find and you’re not required to part with £10 or £15 per month just to get football tips that you’d get for free somewhere else.

What is the best football league to bet on?

The guys at Thatsagoal pick matches from various leagues but the Premier League will always be the most popular for the day to day punter. However, there is money to be made from betting on the lower leagues such as the English Championship, League One and League Two. There are many more competitive matches in these leagues but that just means you get better betting odds for your selections. If you’re looking for tips on football betting today, give the lower leagues a try and see if you can pick a winner.

You might never look at the Football League the same again!

Despite A Tough Start Arsenal New Boy Matteo Guendouzi Still Looks A Gem

Matteo Guendouzi probably wouldn’t have chosen to play Manchester City, if he could have handpicked his opponents for his Arsenal debut, but alas fate decided that it was indeed the English top flight champions that the French teenager had to face on the first outing in the Premier League.

Man City didn’t demolish the Gunners as they did in Arense Wenger’s last term at the Emirates but they still cruised to a 2-0 victory over Unai Emery’s men in North London.

Youngster Matteo didn’t have a perfect game; he couldn’t stop Raheem Sterling from scoring in the fourteenth minute, he also allowed Sergio Aguero to break free on goal (thankfully the Argentine striker couldn’t score) and his passing success rate wasn’t the best at just 80%.

Yet these faults actually brought out a few positives in the midfielder.

The nineteen year old didn’t allow his head to drop, even after a mistake or two. He continued to show for the ball, make a tasty tackle and he even had a voice and would speak up for himself.

To get straight back up after being knocked down, is a great attribute to have in any player and to be honest older teammates like Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka should take a leaf out of Guendouzi’s book.

Fans will accept a couple of mistakes, as long as they see the footballer earnestly doing his bit to make up for that mistake. They don’t want to see the player have a sulk or go into hiding.

The fact new Gunners boss Emery decided to bring off the more experienced Xhaka instead of the tenacious Matteo shows you the belief the manager has in his young new signing and the gutsy character that the holding midfielder clearly has.

Defensively Guendouzi did some things really well. He was eager and energetic; making four tackles, four interceptions and one clearance. Having fellow new boy Luca Torreira in beside him in the engine room could be a big help, as at times Granit Xhaka seems very lost as a defensive midfielder.

Emery was quick to praise the youngster:

‘It’s his first match here in the Premier League.’

‘He has personality and quality and if he is on the pitch he is improving very quickly.’

 

Listen Matteo Guendouzi is going to make mistakes at Arsenal in his maiden season. Last season the Frenchman was playing his trade in Ligue 2, that jump in quality is massive.

Unai Emery has to protect him and at times that might mean that he has to come out and watch from the sidelines at certain points of the campaign.

But the initial signs are good and show that the teenager could be a star in the making for Arsenal!

 

Rangers Boss Steven Gerrard Has Given Alfredo Morelos His Self Belief Back

Towards the end of last season, Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos looked very jaded and his confidence was shot!

That clearly impacted on his performances as the goals dried up and he was missing more and more guilt edged chances as he snatched at opportunities.

Press speculation linking him with a big money move seemed to unsettle him in January, as did the continual changes to the Gers backroom team. Plus what some people forget is that the young Colombian hadn’t had any time off in the past eighteen months before this summer.

That break before preseason has certainly helped the forward as has the arrival of new Gers gaffer Steven Gerrard.

The English manager made it quite clear early on that he wanted to keep Alfredo and that he thought he had a big talent that could lead the line at Ibrox:

“We love the player. The fans love the player. He’s a goal scorer. We know what he can add to this team and squad.”

Gerrard continued to praise the hitman after El Bufalo scored the winner against Croatian side Osijek in the Europa League:

“We’re very happy with him,”  

“His application and his work-rate in training, on and off the pitch, has been superb. And I think he got his reward tonight for that. I thought his performance was selfless. He ran his socks off for the team.”

The fact that Steven Gerrard has trusted Morelos and continued to start him has given the striker a morale boost and he has rewarded his manager’s faith by scoring three times in his opening seven games of the season.

Morelos has also added to his game since he arrived in Glasgow from HJK Helsinki in 2017.

His link-up play has improved dramatically. He can hold it up and bring others into the game, that has become more evident under Stevie’s influence as the other players are quicker at getting in and around their main forward.

Under his new boss, the Colombian youth intentional also seems to be a lot fitter and he’s once again enjoying his football and looking a real threat inside the box.

As we already knew from last season, Alfredo can be lethal when an opportunity presents it’s self.

Today against newly promoted St Mirren, Morelos scored his first Scottish Premiership goal of the campaign. He was played through in on goal after a mistake from The Buddies defence. He didn’t panic and although his shot wasn’t the sweetest, the twenty-two year old kept his effort on target and it hit the back of the net.

As well as being an instinctive finisher on the deck, the attacker is also good with his head and that can be a vital attribute to a solo striker in Scotland.

Now he was lucky to get his red card rescinded after he was sent off after twelve minutes against Aberdeen during the opening league game of season, last week.

I do believe that he gets picked on by opponents, who do their best to wind Alfredo up and they’ll also go out and try and physically intimidate the frontman. While I think that referees should be quicker in spotting such spoiling tactics and do more to protect the young forward, Morelos also has to keep calm under that kind of provocation and not lose his temper. Gerrard will no doubt hope to channel that aggression and tell his forward to take his chances as that will shut the opponents up!

Hopefully Alfredo Morelos’ upturn form continues as he’s fitter, happier and working harder. His endeavour and appetite has returned and I believe that a lot of that is down to the fact that his manager believes in him!

Milner & Roberston Show Liverpool Have Balance Between Hard Work & Flair

It didn’t take Liverpool long to get back into the swing of things in the Premier League as they enjoyed a 4-0 home win over West Ham United in the opening weekend.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah were goalscorers again. Roberto Firmino was a creative spark once more, while new boy Naby Keita settled in perfectly well in the midfield three. Centre-back Virgil van Dijk gave is usual calm and collected performance and new goalkeeper Alisson wasn’t troubled on his debut.

But for all the attacking greatness and flair that The Reds showed today at Anfield, you have to applaud the hard work that James Milner and Andrew Robertson put in during the ninety minutes.

You have to have balance within your team and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has that balance in his side because of the work ethic and energy the likes of Milner and Robertson bring to the game.

Milner just seems to get younger instead of older. He may now be thirty-two years of age but the veteran seemed to cover every blade of grass for his team. He’d work hard to get back and help his defence and then in the next turn on play he would be bursting forward and doing is best to support the attack.

The Englishman can stick his foot in and win the ball back, plus he’s also very composed and able to find a pass under heavy pressure.

Robertson took a wee bit of time to settle in at Merseyside in his debut term last season but he didn’t look back after cementing his place in the team after Christmas, helping Liverpool to a top four finish and to a Champions League place.

He has worked on his defensive duties and continues to improve on that front. Going forward, he’s one of the best at delivering a fine ball in from the left.

Neither were at this summer’s World Cup and that rest probably helped their high energy levels for this opening encounter but they’re extremely committed and determined characters who would have been ready for the occasion no matter what.

The duo also managed to help the team’s cause by creating an assist each.

Robertson had a terrific run down the left flank, his overlap took him in behind The Hammers defence and then his ball was inch perfect for Salah to tap in the first goal of the afternoon.

The Scottish international also had a hand in the second strike. He steered a cross to the back post, in truth it was a ball many a player might have given up on but not James Milner, who cut it back for Mane to put the chance into the back of the net!

Milner gave a man of the match award winning performance. The midfielder had a 93% passing success rate, making 103 passes in total and three of those were key passes.

Robertson made two tackles during the game and won an interception too. He constantly looked to get down the left channel and that was a great outlet for his teammates.

If The Reds are really going to challenge for the main titles during this campaign then obviously the star players will need to be scoring and creating. But Klopp will also need consistent performers that will give their all for the shirt and he has them in Andrew Robertson and James Milner!

Bright Start For Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea!

Maurizio Sarri watched on as his new Chelsea side comfortably recorded a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town in their opening Premier League match of the season.

The Italian noted after the game that the scoreline flattered his team a bit and that they struggled initially to deal with the physicality of their opponents:

“The game was more difficult than the result. If you see the result, you think it was a very easy match, but in the first half it was very difficult against physical opponents.

“We are not a physical team so for 20 minutes we were in trouble but we did very well.”

Chelsea fans will be desperate to see what comes when the side are playing at their full potential.

In truth though, the London side did boss the opening game. They had 63% of possession, had thirteen shots compared to The Terriers six efforts and they also had more on target and more corners than their opponents.

The Blues scored with their first shot at goal but it was from a very unexpected source in N’Golo Kante.

Fresh from winning the World Cup in the summer, the French midfielder found himself in unfamiliar territory inside Huddersfield’s penalty area and he managed to scuff his shot beyond the opposition goalkeeper to give Chelsea the lead on the thirty-fourth minute.

Kante has now scored just as many Premier League goals this term as he has in each of the last four years!

New summer signing Jorginho doubled Chelsea’s lead just before the half-time break with a cooly taken penalty.

The Italian played under Sarri at Napoli and he’ll be a key component as Maurizio tries to implement his free flowing passing style. The deep-laying playmaker enjoyed a 94% passing success rate on his debut as he made sixty-six passes.

The final goal came with just ten minutes to go.

Star man Eden Hazard made a cameo from the bench, after his World exploits with Belgium, and that was enough time for him to cut through the Terriers defence before slipping in Pedro and the Spaniard slotted his chance away into the far corner.

The Spanish forward has recently signed a contract extension, much to the pleasure of his new boss:

“I’m very happy about this,”

“Pedro is very important for us.”

“He is a technical player. Very usable for me. And I think I’m really happy about the new contract.”

“Pedro is a top player.”

Sarri will respect Pedro’s footballing upbringing at Barcelona and will hope that his experience can help in bedding in the Italian coach’s new philosophy at Stamford Brigde.

It could be a very big season ahead for David Luiz.

The Brazilian defender looked to be a goner under previous boss Antonio Conte but his ability to pick a pass from the backline seems to have impressed his new gaffer. Luiz was comfortable at the back and attempted ninety-three passes during the game (more than any other player) and he had a 92.5% success rate.

New keeper Kepa had very little to do but the Spaniard will be happy to have kept a cleansheet on his debut, after becoming the world’s most expensive goalkeeper earlier in the week. He seemed very vocal in between the sticks but tougher tests will surely follow and he’ll be judged on those.

Sarri will know that things can improve and should improve as everyone at the club gets used to his way of playing.

The Italian will be hoping that striker Alvaro Morata can find the net as soon as possible. You can see that the hitman is still lacking in confidence. If his struggles continue then you’d expect Olivier Giroud to come in and take his place.

Obviously having Hazard in from he start will be a huge bonus. You also have talented loanee Mateo Kovacic to come in and he’ll add even more class to the midfield three.

It has been an exciting start to the Maurizio Sarri era at Chelsea. As I’ve previously stated, sterner opponents will do more to test them. But for now, The Blues support can enjoy the moment and be hopeful that they can have a strong season this term.

Positives For Jose Mourinho As Man United Secure Opening Day Victory

Despite a nervy end to the game, Jose Mourinho will have been happy with Manchester United’s performance against Leicester City in their opening match of the Premier League season.

United beat The Foxes by two goals to one and that means that The Red Devils picked up the valuable first three points of the season.

Jose will also be reassured by some of the positives that he can take away from the game.

There was a bit of a dark cloud hanging over Old Trafford after a disappointing end to the transfer window, with Mourinho not getting in the two new faces that he believed would make his side stronger for this campaign.

A position that the Portuguese manager wanted to shore up was the central defensive role.

Yet Eric Bailly showed his gaffer that he’s the best centre-half at the club and has all the attributes to be one of the leading defenders in the English top flight.

The Ivorian had a great game at the back. His defensive partner Victor Lindelof looked shaky at times but whenever the Swede slipped up, Bailly’s pace and awareness were enough to snuff out the possible danger. He also won plenty of headers inside his own penalty area, making six clearances during the ninety minutes. He also enjoyed a 95% passing success rate.

The twenty-four year old had a lapse of concentration right at the end and that allowed Jamie Vardy to get what turned out to be a consolation goal. But all in all, Eric’s performance was terrific and he should be the number one centre-back at Old Trafford this season, if he can just stay away from injury issues.

Mourinho has often criticised Luke Shaw since his arrival at United but the left-back put in a shift against Leicester. He offered himself on the lefthand side, fought when he needed to and had plenty of touches of the ball.

His energetic display was rewarded with his first Man Utd goal, which turned out to be the match winner. Shaw has put down some good foundations in this opening fixture and needs to grasp this opportunity and become a consistent performer to stay in the team. Hopefully he can finally reach his potential at Old Trafford.

It was nice to see Jose praising his full-back saying he was ‘very pleased‘ and that Shaw ‘was very good defensively‘.

The United boss also stated that he was happy with the shift Andreas Pereira put in.

Paul Pogba was given plenty of responsibility this evening and he didn’t let his team down. Jose handed the French World Cup winner the captain’s armband and Pogba also decided to take his side’s penalty, which he scored with aplomb.

As he did in Russia for Les Bleus, Paul played with added discipline and he was all the better for it. The midfielder kept possession and made some good tackles. He also dribbled and kept the ball in numerous occasions.

Jose needs to bottle this Paul Pogba and have him playing that way all season. He should get even better as he recovers from his summer exploits.

New midfield signing Fred did well on his debut and showed glimpses that he could be a very good acquisition as the season unfolds. He can be energetic and combative in the middle of the park plus he also has the vision and passing range to set up quick attacks. Once he gets up to speed with the English game, you get the feeling he’ll be a real asset for The Red Devils.

Although the midfield worked hard and looked decent, you still have to believe that they’ll be more balanced having Nemanja Matic playing as the anchor in the midfield three.

Alexis Sanchez looked fresher and more involved after having a proper rest. If United are to have a good season this year then the Chilean has to become a match winner for Jose’s side and he showed tonight that he should have the energy to hit top gear this term.

There are still things for the management team to work on.

Italian Matteo Darmian still looks a bit nervy and he didn’t overlap to the same degree Shaw did on the opposite flank. That being said, the right-back was strong defensively. As I’ve already said, Lindelof still looked to nervy at times and that can affect on other members of the team.

Marcus Rashford, didn’t make the most of his chance of playing up-top. The England forward just didn’t seem to be at the races.

Tiredness did also creep in but that’s to be expected with players having limited holiday time and others not playing often for the side last term.

But it should be an encouraging start for Manchester United. They need to build on that though, they can afford to let rivals Manchester City to get an early lead on them like they did last term.

Jose Mourinho needs to create that siege mentally and have all the players and fans backing him.

 

Have The Man United Board Let Down Jose Mourinho?

That’s that then, the English Premier League transfer window is shut. So what should we talk about now then?

Well let’s start by looking back on Manchester United’s own transfer window. It was pretty uninspiring to be perfectly honest.

While I believe that the Fred signing can really help the United midfield, that Diogo Dalot could be a fine full-back for years to come and even admit that the Lee Grant arrival makes sense on most levels, I cannot help but feel the business done by Man United this summer simply wasn’t good enough.

The Red Devils clearly needed another centre-back, possibly another left sided full-back and maybe another creative force that can play wide on the right.

To go into the season without another experienced centre-half seems ridiculous. The likes of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof can’t be trusted not to breakdown with yet more injuries and lets face it they also have history of suffering from dips in form. Eric Bailly is probably the best central defender at the club but he too has been pretty injury prone in the last eighteen months.

Earlier in the summer, manager Jose Mourinho himself suggested he needed at least two new faces:

“One thing is what I would like,”  

“Another thing is what is going to happen.”

“I would get two more players.”

You could tell that he wasn’t particularly hopeful and he was right to be pessimistic.

Reports suggest that the Man United hierarchy are at loggerheads with Jose on who he should be signing. He wants already established, older players and the board want younger players that have a resale value.

Now I hope to God that isn’t true.

For one, United knew exactly what kind of manager Mourinho was/is when they appointed him and when they agreed to give him a new contract at the start of the year. Jose isn’t one for long-term fixes, he’s a gaffer that wants titles and will spend lots of cash to do that in the quickest possible timeframe.

Secondly, United can’t be seen as a club that buys players to potentially then sell them on. I think whomever has spun that story has caused a PR boo-boo for the team. They should have said that the board want young, hungry talent that’s capable of being world stars at Old Trafford. When it comes to assessing what the squad needs to become better, that should come down to the manager.

A big issue for Man Utd at the moment is that Ed Woodward, the club’s main administrator, is a figure that seems to have very mixed results and doesn’t have the confidence of the fans and probably now has a strained relationship with the coach. Tottenham Hotspur didn’t sign a single player during the summer window but at least Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy sing from the same hymn sheet and trust one another.

Woodward might argue that Jose hasn’t done brilliantly well with the talent that’s been available to him and that he hasn’t brought the best out of his own signings but in truth Mourinho has a very successful CV to show that he’s a talented boss and in footballing terms Ed has done very little and his standing hasn’t really improved in his years as executive vice chairman of the football club.

From the outside looking in, the board have tied an arm behind Jose’s back and I’m not entirely sure why?

Their ultimate end game has to be to win major titles. If you don’t believe Jose Mourinho is the man to get you those trophies then sack him and move on. There’s absolutely no point in hampering him in the transfer market and then expecting him to work wonders with pretty much the same team that finished way behind Manchester City last term.

In all honesty, I think this summer has shown the Man United board up as being clumsy, unambitious and indecisive.

As I say they should have either backed their manager or if they don’t believe in him, then they should have sacked Jose.

Going with the status quo might just have the fans on their backs from day one this season!

 

 

 

Can Marco Silva Get Best Out Of Everton Team?

After a slow start, Everton have been extremely busy towards the end of the recent transfer window.

Today as the window slammed shut, The Toffees managed to bring in Brazilian international Bernard, Colombian World Cup hero Yerry Mina and Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes. The final two transfers have arrived from the mighty Barcelona (Mina on a permanent deal and Gomes on a season long loan).

Highly rated French centre-back Kurt Zouma could also be set for a loan move, it’s still to be ratified by The FA.

New Everton manager Marco Silva also managed to bring in Richarlison and Lucas Digne during the summer months. These are all names that will have the Evertonians happy as they head to bed tonight.

The Portuguese gaffer will be hoping that he has assembled a talent pool that can entertain the Goodison crowd as well as having them challenging higher up the table and maybe even go for a trophy.

As well as the exciting new recruits, Silva also has some very talented youngsters that can hopefully help the Merseyside club as they try and meet some ambitious targets in the next season.

Jordan Pickford was terrific in goal for England at the World Cup and that experience should stand him in good stead for years to come.

The Toffees also have a good core of younger outfield players that can excite the home support.

Tom Davies, Ademola Lookman, Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have all produced performances that have had the Goodison crowd purring at times.

These are potential stars in the making and they’ll be hoping that Silva exposes them to more first-team opportunities next term.

Everton also have plenty of experienced Bluenoses like Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka who know what it means to play for the Merseyside club. Even if these veterans don’t play every week, just having them in the dressing room could be vital for the new Toffees boss.

Now that Wayne Rooney has departed his boyhood heroes (again), more will be expected from last summer’s major signing Gylfi Sigurdsson. The former Swansea City man is a proven match winner in the Premier League but he hasn’t shown that enough so far in his Everton career. That could change if he plays in the hole for Silva.

It will be interesting to see where the goals will come from in the up and coming campaign.

Cenk Tosun did impress in his first six months at the club. Since his arrival in January, the Turkish striker managed to grab five league goals in fourteen appearances. It will be hoped that he’ll kick on this term and show even more as he has now had a preseason with his teammates.

English forward Theo Walcott has a great amount of pace but he’s never had a truly prolific season in England’s top flight and he’s still prone to injury.

Sandro Ramirez has returned from his loan, yet the Spaniard struggle at Sevilla. So I’m not sure he’ll be the answer for Silva.

Oumar Niasse is a forward that has worked with the coach before. He bagged eight strikes last season but if I’m being honest he’s a striker that seems to score as if by mistake more than by his own skill.

Youngster Lookman could be one that chips in with more goals. He too, went out on loan during the second half of last season and he impressed in the Bundesliga with RB Leipzig, scoring and assisting four times in eleven league outings. So much so that the Germans wanted to keep him in a permanent deal, which was flatly refused by Everton.

It will be interesting to follow Everton in the next twelve months and see what progress Marco Silva can have on the team. He needs to find his preferred first eleven, have them playing attractive football and score enough goals to get more victories and have the team challenging for a Europa League place (at the very least).

It certainly looks like it will be a huge year ahead for Everton, how good it will be remains to be the unanswered question?

Have Late Signings Saved Chelsea’s Summer?

I mentioned earlier in the month that the Chelsea board have made plenty of mistakes this summer.

They were late in bringing in new manager Maurizio Sarri and they struggled to get deals done in the transfer window, with Jorginho the only signing of note.

But in the last forty-eight hours, The Blues have stepped up and brought in two new faces in Mateo Kovacic and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Both deals were dependent on Thibaut Courtios and the big Belgian keeper finally got his move to Real Madrid.

That meant Chelsea had to get a replacement and they targeted Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Kepa.

The twenty-three year old has impressed for Los Leones in the last two seasons in La Liga. So much so, that he won his first cap for Spain last year, kept a cleansheet against Costa Rica and was a member of his national team’s squad for this summer’s World Cup.

His form also caught the eye of Real and they nearly signed the young keeper back in January for £18m before then manager Zinedine Zidane vetoed the move. Chelsea pounced this week and made the Spaniard the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in a £71.6m deal.

At six foot two inches, Kepa certainly has the stature of a goalie and has fantastic reflexes to boot. He kept seven cleansheets in thirty La Liga games last term.

He’s a modern-day keeper, thus meaning that he’s very comfortable with the ball at his feet. That sweeper-keeper type goalkeeper is a big part of Sarri’s style of play.

The signing shows that the Chelsea hierarchy are willing to splash the cash in getting players in that will suit their manager’s game-plan.

No doubt Sarri would’ve preferred to bring in the keeper before the final days of the window but he’ll be delighted to get his man.

It will be very interesting to see how quickly Kepa adapts to his new surroundings and the pressures of having such a big transfer fee attached to him.

The deal reminds me of David De Gea’s arrival at Manchester United back in 2011.

He arrived for a big transfer fee and with glowing reports but he struggled initially at Old Trafford, yet once he settled into life in the Premier League he soon became one of the world’s best goalies.

Chelsea will be delighted if Kepa can have that kind of career at Stamford Bridge.

De Gea has been complimentary about his fellow Spaniard:

“Kepa is still very young. He has a long career ahead of him. But his head is in the right place,”

“When you train with him you realise that he has a very high level. He is a great goalkeeper. He needs to continue to compete at this level and grow game after game.”

Having veteran keeper Willy Caballero at the club could be vital for Chelsea just in case Kepa needs some time out of the first team as he gets used to the rigours that come with English football.

The Mateo Kovacic signing is another one that will fit into Sarri’s system.

The Italian coach likes his team to play in a 4-3-3 formation and having World Cup finalist Kovacic in the middle of the park beside Jorginho and N’Golo Kante could be very special prospect for The Blues support.

The Croatian will be the one that will be asked to break forward whenever the opportunity arrives, knowing Kante in particular will sweep up behind him.

Chelsea have brought in a midfielder that’s very hungry to play in as many games as possible and to prove himself after waiting too long for a chance at Madrid. He’s a good transitional player that can get the ball from defensive positions into attacking areas. He’s also decent in the tackle and managed an impressive 93% passing success record last year.

The Premier League side could rue not having a clause in the deal that stipulates that they can make the move a permanent one in twelve months!

Chelsea could have one of the best midfields in the English top flight next season as they’ll have three tenacious players that can win the ball in the engine room and that will be composed when they themselves have the ball.

I still think Maurizio Sarri would’ve wanted to do his business earlier in the window and would’ve probably wanted another striker but I’m also sure he’ll look at the three new main signings at Chelsea and be happy with his squad.

Hopefully the Chelsea hierarchy can show patience, as the support have shown them this summer, when it comes to judging Sarri’s new look side. The new manager will be bringing in a whole new philosophy and that could be a great thing for the London club but it may take a bit of time to perfect!